The England and Wales Cricket Board have long pursued a policy of resting the players with the heaviest schedules and, with a Champions Trophy, back-to-back Ashes contests and a pair of series against New Zealand all coming up in the next year, that shows no signs of abating.
Indeed, their current one-day series in India, which continues with the second one-day international in Kochi today, takes place while a trio of senior men stay back in England.
Anchor man Jonathan Trott, opening bowler James Anderson and first-choice spinner Graeme Swann have all been excused the five-match series, which England lead 1-0 after success in Rajkot.
But Cook does not bemoan the lack of experience as he plots to record only a second series win in the country, instead accepting the need for workloads to be managed. “Careers are short but rest and rotation is going to be an important part of the side moving forward,” he said.
“Luckily we are building a squad of players. We’ve got young lads here who have been in the international side for six to eight months and they are gaining experience, and hopefully showing if they get their chance they can take it.
“Rest and rotation is important and to me it is on a tour by tour, week by week basis.
“As players and even coaches we are going to have to assess the situation, week by week, month by month. You can’t really plan too far ahead because things change due to injury or form or whatever.”
Cook’s reference to ‘resting’ coaches is a nod to the decision to appoint Ashley Giles as the side’s limited-overs coach, easing the strain of team director Andy Flower, who continues to lead the Test XI.
Before being named skipper of the 50-over side, Cook suffered from something Tim Bresnan describes as “natural rotation” in one-day cricket, having been overlooked for tactical reasons.
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